Do not ask me what it was like over there,
My deeds, such as they were, are not the stuff of pride.
Fighting in the trenches was a brutal affair,
Our small triumphs unworthy of those who died.
Continue reading “Amnesia”
The Literature of Irish Exile 17th Annual Autumn School took place on Saturday October 15th at the Mellon Centre for Migration Studies, Ulster American Folk Park. The theme was The Great War in Memory, Writing and Drama and featured writing by Fermanagh Writers and the Omagh Robins WW1 Drama Group which had been developed in the Living Legacies 2016 Writers’ Summer School.
Continue reading “The Great War in Memory, Writing and Drama”
You know, I never learned to shoot worth half a damn
but I could tote a bucket with the best.
The Flanders mud was firm to me beside Fermanagh glaur,
and in my hands those canvas buckets
rested light and easy as the feed for calves. Continue reading “Tommy”
Trimble’s Horse was a squadron of cavalry raised for the UVF by the then owner of the Impartial Reporter. When the Great War broke out, many of these farmers and tradesmen joined either the Inniskilling Dragoons or the North Irish Horse. Those assigned to the Western Front served in the trenches for most of the War, but in the closing months some rode again. Continue reading “Coming Home”
And everything stopped.
The shop lad running over Mardyke
caught mid-stride, the cart
he might have dodged, laden with churns –
Stopped. Continue reading “Armistice Day, Skibbereen, 1919”
As a collector of military antiques for almost fifty years, I am fascinated by the personal items associated with conflicts of the past that come into my ownership.While uniforms, rifles and bayonets may represent the face of War, it is often the small personal possessions that have been handed down to family members from the past that tell the real story of war and loss. Continue reading “It was my Birthday Today”
I’m laying here callin’
But no one comes near me,
maybe nobody hears me. Continue reading “No Man’s Land”
The decade 1912-1922 brought many changes and whilst there is a justified focus on the horrors of the First World War, there were other socio-political phenomena like the Woman’s Suffrage movement. The circumstances of the war brought into sharper focus the role of women in our society and was a turning-point on the road towards greater gender equality.
I was surprised, intrigued and delighted as a poet to receive this voice and it is a great pleasure to paint in this little historic detail and to share it with my friends.’ Continue reading “Wilder Mind”
Falls Road. Barbed wire walls. Barred windows
An ’80’s paint-flaked door swings to and fro,
creaking in night stillness Continue reading “#Flashback”
First in line, as I have some vision
I am well used to the dark as a miner.
(Must find a way to live like this.)
At least I can still sing.
Oh God. What a needless war. Continue reading “The Band of Blind and Buggered”